Officers arrested a New Jersey man on a first-degree identity theft charge in connection with crimes in other jurisdictions involving a stolen cellphone and the theft of $15,472.31 in cryptocurrency, police said today.
Darren Carter: held on $150,000 bond. Westport Police photo
Darren Carter, 29, of Blackwood was arrested Monday after being extradited from New Jersey.
The incidents dates back to April 17 when the victim came to Westport Police Headquarters to report that he had been the victim of a larceny.
“The victim reported that while traveling in California his cellular phone had been stolen in an airport,” Lt. Anthony Prezioso said.
“A few hours after the theft of his phone, he became aware that $15,472.31 had been transferred out of his Coinbase account, an application in which cryptocurrency is managed,” he added.
Prezioso said the victim learned his funds were converted into United States currency, which was then moved into a PayPal account.
He said an extensive investigation by the Detective Bureau, which included multiple search warrants for various records, ultimately led to Carter as the suspect.
“Among various financial transaction records allegedly connecting Carter to the crime, he additionally sent an apology email intended for the victim to the investigating detective,” Prezioso said. “In this message he not only confessed to taking the victim’s phone while he was also traveling in California, but additionally admitted to transferring the victim’s Coinbase funds into a personal account.”
He added that the stolen $15,472.31 was recovered from PayPal and returned to the victim.
Following his arrest, Carter’s bond set at $150,000. Unable to post bond, Carter was transported to Norwalk Superior Court on Tuesday.